Study reveals that delayed fatherhood can impact children’s health:
The latest research study has found that delaying fatherhood until later in life can have a negative effect on both children and mothers. After considering the factors like: age of the mother, maternal smoking, race, education, and number of prenatal visits, the researchers found that as the age of the father increases, the risk of the infant being born prematurely, having a low birth weight, and requiring healthcare support after delivery.
The study revealed that children of fathers aged 45 years or more were born 0.12 weeks earlier and had a 14 percent higher risk of being premature compared to those whose fathers were aged 25 to 34 years.
These children were also born 20.2g lighter and had a 14 percent higher risk of low birth weight than infants born to younger fathers. They also had a 14 percent higher risk of being admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit and an 18 percent higher risk of having seizures, compared to infants with fathers aged 25 to 34 years.
Newborns of fathers aged 55 years or older also tended to score less well on the Apgar test — a test used to assess the health of a child at birth. The team found that not only did a father’s age impact his children’s health, it also affects the mother’s health.
Though, women are often advised not to delay motherhood for too long because of the health risks for themselves and their babies, now the researchers have discovered that around 13 percent of premature births and 18 percent of gestational diabetes in pregnancies were due to the advanced age of the father They suggested that changes in the sperm of older men could be responsible.
The researchers concluded: “A significant number of these negative birth outcomes were estimated to be prevented if older fathers had elected to have children before the age of 45 years. The risks associated with advancing paternal age should be included in discussions regarding family planning and reproductive counseling,”